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Chitral Valley

FACT FILE:

Geographical Location:

3552′52″N,

7147′53″E

Physical Location:

Northwest in the N.W.F.P province of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan in the Hindukush Range 

Total Area:

322 km

Altitude:

1128 meters

Best Time to Visit:

May to October

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Chitral Valley at an elevation of 1128 meters has Afghanistan on its North, South and West.It is surrounded by the Wakhan, Badkhshan, Asmar and Nooristan area of Afghanistan in the north, west and south-west. On its southern boundary lies Dir. In the east lies Gilgit agency and Swāt Kohistan. The narrow strip of Afghan territory, Wakhan, separates it from Tajikistan. The 7,788 meters (25,550 ft) Trichmir, the highest peak of the Hindukush mountain, dominates this 322km long exotic valley. No mountain in the region is less then 4000 feet and more then 40 peaks have an altitude of 20,000 ft. Chitral is divided into small valleys by the mighty Hindukush range.
Chitral is undoubtedly the most romantic, captivating and enchanting place in the majestic Hindukush range. It is a mountainous area in the extreme north of Pakistan. The landscape of Chitral is extremely mysterious, with its steep harsh mountains, lush green valleys, beautiful meadows and big glaciers, which have made it one of the most difficult and inaccessible area of the world.
The weather in Chitral is extremely harsh and cold in winter while the summer is very pleasant. There are certain famous places and valleys in Chitral like Garam Chashma valley, Booni, Golen valley, Madaklasht valley, Arandu, Birir, Rumbur and Bumburat.
 Historically Chitral was known as an independent princely state. After the independence, Chitral was the first state to declare the accession to Pakistan. In 1970, it was declared as district of Pakistan and attached to the Malakand Division.
One of the major attractions of Chitral are the Kalash valleys-the home of the Kafir-Kalash or "Wearers of the Black Robe", a primitive pagan tribe. Their ancestry is enveloped in mystery and is the subject of controversy. A legend says that five soldiers of the legions of Alexander of Macedon settled in Chitral and are the progenitors of the Kafir-Kalash.
The 3,000 strong Kafir-Kalash live in the valley of Birir, Bumburet and Rambur in the South. Bamburet, the largest and the most picturesque valley of the Kafir-Kalash, is 40km from Chitral and is connected by a jeep able road. Birir, 34km away is accessible by a jeep able road. Rumbur is 32km from Chitral.  Their picturesque headgear is made of woolen black material decked out with cowrie shells, buttons and crowned with a large colored feather. In parts of Greece even today some women sport a similar head covering. The Kalash people love music and dancing particularly on occasions of their religious festivals like Joshi Chilimjusht (14th & 15th May - spring), Phool (20th - 25th September) and Chowas (18th to 21st December).

Accessibility:

The easiest access to Chitral is in the southwest along the Chitral/Kunar valley towards Jalalabad; this route is open all year and provides direct access to Kabul. However the Pakistan-Afghanistan border prevents this being used as an internal route to Peshawar and the south.

The other routes are over mountain passes. To the south, the Lowari Pass (3,200 m or 10,499 ft) leads 365 km (227 mi) to the region of Peshawar; this is now a road road. In the north, the easiest route during summer (it is closed by snow in the winter), and the only one which allows the use of pack animals, runs over the Broghol Pass (3,798 m or 12,460 ft) to Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor. To the east, there is a 405 km (252 mi) route to Gilgit over the 3,719 m (12,201 ft) Shandur Pass. And in the west, the Dorah Pass provides an additional route to Afghanistan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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